Archive for the ‘Luck’ Category

things to be thankful for…

  • the last day of law school classes: today!
  • days until my 27th birthday: 6
  • days until i get married: 166
  • a job lined up: beginning next fall



one reason to celebrate the wonderfulness of 2009

It was a chilly winter day, December 22, 2009…

Anna and Robert’s families were at the Camp’s home to make gingerbread houses. The room was overflowing with gumdrops, sprinkles, icing, candy canes, & coconut snow.  The fire was roaring and Christmas music was playing.

Everyone ate dinner together & opened gifts near the Christmas tree, while admiring their gingerbread handiwork.  After dinner, the tradition was carried on to take pictures with funny holiday-themed hats.

It was a perfectly sweet night.

As the families were parting ways, Robert and Anna sat on the antique loveseat in the entry, saying their goodbyes.  Anna remembers saying that she wishes Robert never had to leave.

As everyone was gathered near the door, Robert stood up.  He said he had a few words to say.  Anna was confused and wondered if Robert had a few too many glasses of wine with dinner…

Robert spoke about his admiration and respect for both of their families, how grateful he was that we were all friends, how thankful he is for Anna, & how very lucky he feels to be with her.  Robert remembers saying that Anna is his hero.

Anna started to wonder what was going on.  She still had no idea what was about to happen.

Robert then pulled something out of his pocket and knelt on one knee.  Anna’s eyes welled up with tears (& the moms were tearing up too) as Robert looked at her with excitement & hope to ask her to be his wife.  Robert held a beautiful, sparkling ring and said, “Will you marry me, Anna?”

Anna was still in shock and remembers saying, “Are you serious? Are you SERIOUS?!”   In her heart, she knew Robert was serious.  She’s known they would get married for a long time, but she couldn’t believe it was happening at this perfectly sweet moment with both of their families standing with them.

Anna said “Yes!”  Both families rushed at them with hugs and congratulations, & champagne toasts followed at the Smith’s home.

Happy New Year to you!!  May 2010 bring lots of blessings your way.


and a happy thanksgiving to you

in the spirit of the season, here are just a few of the many things i am thankful for:

  • a loving & supportive boyfriend (who cherishes me better than anyone ever could)
  • a sweet & caring family (that i cannot wait to see this friday!)
  • the ability to go to law school (and, hopefully, finish next year)
  • a great community group in san francisco (it’s like a bible study, but focused on service too)
  • a healthy body
  • the fact that finals will be over by this time next month (and this is a killer semester because i have 5, yes 5 finals coming up!)
  • the even more exciting fact that next semester will be my last time to take law school finals.  you have absolutely no idea how thankful i am for that.

i am so, so very lucky.

happy thanksgiving!!



grace in the small things… it’s never a bad idea to look for things to be thankful for in our daily lives.

as oxford english dictionary defines “grace” — elegance of movement; courteous good will; attractice qualities or behavior; the free and unearned favour of God; a short prayer of thanks. [all great things!]

today, i am thankful for…


  • a healthy body that allows me to walk, run, ride my bike, go to yoga, & enjoy lots of outdoor activities
  • trips with friends, moms, & dads (camping!  oregon!  caribbean cruise!)
  • my african violet that always stretches over to the window to reach for the sun & continues to bloom cheery little purple blossoms every few weeks
  • unusually warm weather in san francisco
  • margaritas! chips & salsa!
  • good books & a great local bookstore (browser books, on fillmore)
  • fresh-squeezed, homemade lemonade
  • real simple magazine
  • iced coffee with 1/2 & 1/2
  • sweet boyfriends


also, another reason to love my name: “anna” means graceful one.

cheers to thursday!

this morning i woke up thankful. happy and thankful.

this doesn’t happen everyday. i am not exactly what you’d call a morning person. i’ve tried & tried & tried to enjoy mornings, but it just never sticks.

i don’t necessarily wake up completely grumpy. i just feel the weight of sleepiness heavy on me, & after dozens of hits on the snooze button, i dizzily stumble to the shower.

if i go for a run in the early hours, i don’t even really wake up until about halfway through the run … it’s kind of sad. i think this means i’m hopeless.

despite all of this, i woke up this morning with a grin – a silly, innocent, little-child-with-golden-ringlets grin across my face. (i’m pretty sure my ever-elusive dimples even popped out for a bit.) i felt refreshed. & it wasn’t really due to any extra sleep. in fact, i had less than normal – as i decided to START laundry last night at, oh, about 10:30!

the morning light seemed softer. my bed felt cozier. the cool breeze coming through the window seemed scented even, i swear!

i made some coffee. ate some fruit & cereal. & hopped onto 3191 (a beautiful photography site – check out their cute backstory here) & found a shot that captured how i felt. . .

so cheers to thursday! & many more mornings like this.

taking a brief hiatus

from now until december 15, i will be ridiculously consumed with studying for my first encounter with law school exams.  

i am hitting the books (well, my outlines & practice tests, to be exact) for the next 3 weeks & i won’t have much time to blog.

i can’t wait to enjoy a stress-free holiday break after this grueling first semester

wish me luck!

best holiday, ever

happy thanksgiving.

for each new morning with its light,

for rest and shelter of the night,

for health and food,

for love and friends,

for everything THY goodness sends.

(ralph waldo emerson)

barrister’s ball

the boyfriend & i got all dressed up & went to the equivalent of a prom for law students last friday night.


the event was held in an awesome gallery/bar/club south of market called 111 minna.

we ate dinner at a peruvian restaurant (highly recommended!) called fresca, on fillmore. we had seafood tapas & loved it! i ate entirely too much.

my favorite part of the night: strolling the streets of pac heights – all lit up with blue twinkle lights on the trees – holding hands with the best boy i could’ve ever hoped to be bringing to a law school prom, feeling wonderfully happy and fortunate to be living in such an amazing city, going to such a great law school with such cool people and dating the boy of my dreams…

i am truly blessed.

♥ ♥ ♥


for my legal writing & research course, we aren’t allowed to use the internet to look up cases, statutes or topics.

“you’re basically learning how to do something you’ll never do again in a million years,” as a 3L oh-so-gently put it.

i’ve been spending a lot more time in the library than i would prefer. thus the grainy photo & somber look…


libraries can be tomb-like places, dark & dreary & dusty. hastings’ library was recently renovated (it re-opened this august), so the above does not apply, despite my somewhat dramatic picture. the carpets are lovely browns & purples. there are lots of comfy, danish-looking chairs to curl up in. natural light fills up many spaces. the books are well-organized. the paint is fresh. the librarians are friendly.

i guess i just get a little nervous with all the clicking of the laptops & the serious looks on everyone’s faces as they contemplate the day’s casebook readings. the quietness of it all is a bit much sometimes.

it seems a little ironic sometimes.

& we’re the lucky ones. lucky enough to be going law school. lucky enough to be going to law school in one of the coolest cities on the planet. i might even go so far as to call us lucky even to have a brain in our heads, clothes, food & shelter.

all we have to do is look around …

we’re literally surrounded by poverty, drug addiction, mental illness, homelessness.

we’re going to great school in a great city, but it just happens to be smack dab in the middle of the ghetto. i’m sorry to say it, but the tenderloin ain’t a pretty place.

i just hope some of us are planning to use our bodies, our brains & our hearts to reach out to people like those around us.

i have to constantly remind myself why i’m here as i get so caught up in the gloomy routine of reading case after case after case. some days it seems never-ending.

i see law school as an amazing opportunity to made profound and principled differences in people’s lives. this will not always be easy.

& i have made a promise to myself to finish law school without misplacing or replacing the passions that got me here.

… no matter how anxious i get sitting in the library, feeling lost in a sea of depressingly nervous overachievers.

the oscars

while working for a theater, amongst a tingling mass of entertainment-obsessed (read: constantly entertaining) people, i am subjected to entertainment-related chit-chat (read: torture).

the constant babble about celebs and their lives enters into every morning coffee, every meeting, every office space, every lunch break. it permeates the walls of the building. and it should. a theater’s business is to entertain. naturally, they’d be obsessed with other entertainers.

most of my co-workers get their information from tv, from entertainment weekly, from comedy central, from jon stuart, from movies, from people magazine, from online celeb sites, from each other.

i just read the newspaper. the other stuff just doesn’t excited me as much, i guess.

so the oscars roll around (or should i say, the entire staff of arena stage held their breath until sunday night, when their favorite people in the whole world got dressed up in fancy dresses and tuxes and received awards for their big-screen gems.)

of course, everyone insisted that each employee involve themselves in the office oscar pool — pay $1, fill out an oscar predictions sheet, sit on the edge of your seat, with fingers crossed, to see how many you guessed right. the person with the most right answers wins the pool.

i was at a coffee shop, reading, and purposefully avoided the whole oscar hysteria.

i had only seen five (count it: 5!) of the fifty-four movies represented. i could really care less who won.

granted, i’d read about most of the movies in the new york times, the new yorker, the washington post and other news publications, but i’d only seen less than 10% of the movies nominated for awards. i mean, how much could i know about them from reading the NEWSPAPER, right??


guess who won the pool – yup, that’s right, nerdy, newspaper-reading me!

ah, what a glorious day it was, when they all applauded, and handed me the envelope, chanting “speech! speech!” (ok, i’m exaggerating a little bit)

they did ask what my secret was…

… did i know an oscar panelist?
… did i know so much because i’m from california? (which, for non-californians, means you live in hollywood and rub shoulders with celebrities every time you step out your door)
… did i really get out to see every movie?


i just smiled and said i read the paper. yes, the newspaper. everyday.

with the cold came a sweet surprise…

it snowed here yesterday evening … all of the arctic freezing weather turned dc into a winter wonderland. it was beautiful. i know, i know. i’m aware that is snows every winter here, and that this is nothing new. in fact, i should have expected it, but i didn’t. as i was heading back to the house, snowflakes slowly began to fall. i sort of freaked out. it’s not that i’ve never seen snow in my life before, but i’ve never lived where it snowed before. this is a completely different feeling.

after i got home, i stood inside watching the snowflakes slowly outline the trees and gates and cars and grass and sidewalk.

walking to work the next day, with the snow crunching under my boots, for a moment, i felt like a real washingtonian. i’m pretty sure i smiled during my entire 25-minute commute to arena stage… yes, i’m aware i sound more like a tourist here than a local, but i don’t care. i love it that it takes something so simple to brighten my day.

as the snow was first falling yesterday night, i bundled up and hopped out the front door to snap a few shots of our cute little yard being blanketed in snow. some of the pictures are below. (click to enlarge.)





marriage is not built on surprises


divorce is sad.

 i think most of us would agree with this statement. it creates a culture where families are no longer secure, where children are hurt the most, where the bonds that should help us all shelter the storms that life brings our way are often violently torn apart. i can’t think of anything else that is so prevalent and yet so destructive in our society today.

just yesterday i learned of two more families i know being broken apart by divorce. it’s everywhere.

i am definitely a proactive complainer, or at least i’d like to be better at this. i hate complaining just to complain. so i thought, “what needs to be changed to lower the divorce rates?” and while this is an extremely complicated question and in NO WAY am i arguing that i’m an expert on the topic nor am i the best to answer it, i found something that i think might be a big part of the answer.

drumroll, please … … … … … … … … … …

if you were hoping for a magic answer to this question, look elsewhere. i don’t believe in magic answers. and luck really has nothing to do with it either. i don’t believe in pure luck. i think that we make our own luck, in small dedicated ways every day… this is ESPECIALLY true in marriage. take thomas jefferson’s quote on the subject: “i’m a great believer in luck, and i find the harder i work, the more i have of it.”

so, it’s not left to luck or chance or one magic answer, so what is it? an article i came across in the new york times may be a start in the right direction. it could help a couple that’s marriage-bound create the kind of luck that we think is thrown at us in life. the article lists a few straightforward (although sometimes blunt) questions that couples should ask eachother BEFORE getting married. key word: BEFORE.

these questions are not always easy to bring up, but wouldn’t you rather talk about them before you have kids, before you own a car and a home together, before you make long-term goals and settle into a life with the other person? i know i would. i can name 5 married couples i know that did not answer some of these questions before walking down the aisle. are their marriages in jeopardy? not necessarily, but even they would admit that it would have made their relationships stronger.

talking about these issues – finances, kids, careers, friends, parents, needs, desires, spirituality – in a straightforward way before committing to stay with a person for the rest of your life should be an essential part of the pre-wedding prep. between all of the dress-buying, decoration-choosing, cake-tasting, vow-writing, honeymoon-planning there should be considerable time given to discussing these important issues. i’m not usually one for relationship rules, but i know i’ll make it part of my to-do list, whether it feels uncomfortable or not. it’s only fair to each other.


see what you think about the questions …


i haven’t even finished with the whole LSAT madness & i’m already thinking about the california bar … i know, i know. one step at a time, but i can’t help it.

if kathleen sullivan didn’t pass, what if i never do?

some (semi-depressing) stats: around 44% of california bar test-takers don’t pass. the test is three days long – that’s longer than most other states. there are six essays and a 200-questions multiple choice section. hand cramps are common.

 the upside: once you pass, you’re golden. (that’ll be me, i’m just sure of it – even if it takes a couple tries!)  

ah, the irony …

i love this story!!

so this career-minded girl, jillian, leaves her amazing job at the oprah show in chicago for new york city to write a book about why so many career-focused guys/gals in her generation are still unattached well into their twenties … and after countless convos with a tall, dark handsome and equally-unattached boy she meets at a bar, she finds love in the midst of her pursuit to prove that her generation is hopelessly missing the love boat.

how cute is that? 🙂

i love reading stories like this. it has become somewhat of a theme the past few weeks – i think i’ve heard a handful of variations of the same story: girl decides she’ll pursue career/education/travel instead of love. girl gets super caught up in her pursuits. girl is loving life. girl is really loving life. girl meets boy. boy loves that the girl is so passionate. girl is not really looking for a boy & boy doesn’t fit every prerec on her “list,” so she passes him by. boy pursues. girl finds herself falling for boy. girl & boy live happily ever after.

i hope jillian finishes her book. i’m sure she has much more insight than when she approached the topic before her mr. mcdreamy came along.

i’ll risk sounding cliche and add that life is funny this way – sometimes the purest joy is like this. you’ll find yourself happiest when you stop trying to align the stars and calculate every detail of your life – to “create” happiness for yourself; you’ll find you’re happiest where you least expect it, with people that you’d least expect to be, doing things you never dreamed you’d be doing.

college is great, but it’s amazing what you learn when you’re forced to leave. it’s especially amazing the sorts of things you learn about yourself when you step out into the the enigma some call the “real world.” (i still haven’t figured out exactly what this means – but i guess that’s what you could call where i am right now.) all i can do is smile sometimes when i think about all of the blessings in my life, all of the small graces that God has lavished on me. i am so thankful for the abilities he’s given me, the people he’s placed in my life in my past, present and that i’m confident he will place in my future. he has so much to teach us, if we’ll only listen.

to live is so startling that it leaves little time for anything else.
-emily dickenson

life is one big lesson, learned over & over again

so i’m feeling really, really thankful today for my amazing job at the firm i’m working at right now … especially thankful for a lawyer in particular that has taken me under his wing and has taught me so much more than i thought i’d ever learn before law school. life is funny this way, you know – i mean, never in a MILLION years would i have guessed what a perfect opportunity was waiting for me in the town i grew up in. in college, i saw myself in a big metropolitan city right after college, working and just taking it all in, but this is exactly where i’m supposed to be right now. (i’m still trying to figure out how to spend the rest of this year before law school, but it will all be clear soon, i hope.)

this all got me thinking that maybe i try to plan out my life way too much. i mean, if i hadn’t been open-minded to the idea of living in my hometown for a little while (and with my parents again – something i still can’t believe i gave in to – which really isn’t all that bad) i never would have taken this job or been so lucky to be learning so so much!

life is amazing sometimes.

lesson of the day: take the chances that bring you closer to your passions & dreams and pleasant surprises will await you.